What is the difference between a smoko truck and a food truck?

Smoko Truck Vs Food Truck

One of the great things about the mobile catering industry is the vast array of options available – from small coffee carts all the way up to large shipping container kitchens. The type of food being served determines the type of vehicle required and we’re often asked about the difference between a smoko truck and a food truck.

There are three key differences:

  1. Access
  2. Food preparation and handling
  3. Equipment


A smoko truck (sometimes also called a pie van) is a walk-around vehicle whilst a food truck is a walk-in vehicle. A smoko truck typically has lift-up doors on three sides that open with struts, giving access to the equipment from outside. A food truck has a pod that can be entered, and all of the equipment is accessed by walking inside the pod and serving customer to the outside.

Food preparation and handling

As access to equipment is from the outside, a smoko truck typically offers pre-prepared food and drinks while a food truck prepares, cooks, and serves food onsite. Food safety standards restrict where food can be prepared to reduce the risk of contamination and with its outside access, smoko trucks tend to serve food that has been prepared elsewhere. As a result, they usually have a different food license than food trucks.


As a result of the food preparation and accessibility differences, smoko trucks will usually have equipment such a coffee machines, pie ovens, refrigerated display cases and fridges and freezers along with shelving and ice wells to house packaged food and chill beverages. Food trucks will have equipment that can cook food, such as deep fryers, griddles, burners and so on.


Which is better? The answer is neither, it depends on the business. A smoko truck is a great option for moving between offices, around business and industrial parks and to local recreational and sporting amenities. They can be built on a Ute or a truck and are easy to move around. A food truck will often stop in the one place for several hours to prepare and cook food, serving it up hot and fresh to their customers.

Both vehicle types are a great option to build a business in the catering industry or expand on an existing one and both can be custom built and fit out to serve individual requirements. Want more information? Give us a call and let’s chat.